David Broza Highlights St. Paul Federation Gala

David Broza has the distinction of being one of Israel’s most famous musicians, and this weekend, he returns to St. Paul. He couldn’t me more thrilled to make the trip back to Minnesota.

“I like it,” Broza said from Israel last week. “There’s something different about the city, the people. Maybe it’s my way of looking at it. It’s the heart of America in a way. It’s just a different vibe.”

Broza will be playing at Temple of Aaron Synagogue (616 S. Mississippi River Blvd.) as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul Annual Campaign Gala. The evening will begin with cocktails at 5 p.m., followed by dinner, a program and the concert. A special Young Adult Division cocktail hour and meet-and-greet with Broza, open to young adults who are attending the gala, will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul event are just $45 per person, $25 per person for people 40 and under.

Over the course of his nearly 40-year career, Broza has released 30 live and studio albums in three languages – Hebrew, English and Spanish; Broza lived in Madrid from 12-to-18 years old.

“Those years were very formidable and really affected my life as a teen,” Broza said. He plays a nylon-string guitar, a more Spanish style of guitar “Even though I at the time I was attracted to Jimi Hendrix and rock and roll.”

Broza’s latest album, “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem,” recently was released as a documentary on Netflix. The film follows Broza as he recorded with both Israeli and Palestinian musicians.

“It’s good insight into what I do in music, and it has kept me on the edge, which I love,” he said. “I’m a musician. It’s my vocation, my art, my passion. I play guitar a few hours every day. I’m not just writing for the sake of it. I have something to say.”

Broza will start recording album 31 in the next couple of months, but he’ll be giving himself another challenge: It’s his first instrumental album.

“I’ve been writing the pieces for the last year,” he said. “It’s much more challenging than writing with lyrics because the music has to carry everything; you don’t have lyrics. I hope it’ll be an interesting project.”

After that, he’s working on a Spanish album and finishing another movie.

“I like to put a lot of projects in motion,” he said. “For me, it’s natural. It’s not like I’m challenging myself to keep busy. The older I get, my interests are broader. It’s exciting. I’ve done a lot. I made my choices when it comes to performing and being on stage, and social causes.”

Broza performs eight to 10 shows per month in Israel and travels around the world the rest of the month touring. He has a residence in New York that he often spends time at, but Israel is still very much his home.

“I love it, with all its complexities,” he said. “It’s a very dynamic place to live in. You want to try and be involved so things will be better down the road. It’s a very fluid life here, but I see the other side. I’ll be thinking about Israel when I’m in St. Paul and I’ll see it from a different point of view. It sharpens my view.”